Bryant-Lake Bowl

Bryant-Lake BowlBryant-Lake Bowl
Liked This Place
4.19 w/ 42 ratings
Bryant-Lake BowlBryant-Lake Bowl

Type: Bar, Eatery

810 W Lake St
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55408-2846
United States

(612) 825-3737 | map

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Added by tavernjef

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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of DCC
2.95/5  rDev -29.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I'll give them yet another shot, but it's happened a couple times that we've had a server who is so distracted and overcommitted that they can't keep our order straight. After getting a glass of wine when I asked for a beer, and didn't get the replacement for another ten minutes, we scratched our dinner this time and put it off til later. Similar things have happened on busy nights before, and a place like this should be pretty sure of when they're getting busy.

Good selection, and the bowling can be part of the mood or a distraction, depending on who you are. I'd like to see an update to the restaurant area sometime.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Bowling Alley/theater/bar all wrapped into one! What a cool concept. The are greeted as you walk in by tables and the bar off to your left. Nice open kithen. Further on is the bowling alley with about 6-8 lanes. No electronics here, you better know how to keep score!

Small draft selection but good offerings overall. They typically have several Bell's on and will also have some locals. Nothing too crazy. The bottle list is pretty good too but can be a little pricey.

Food is good but can be a little pricey. Decent breakfast as well. Fun place to go if you are in town and want to bowl and drink some craft beer.

 617 characters

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Greggy
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Re-review on 2/9/2012

Atmosphere is a crowded little restaurant bar in the front of a divey bowling alley. This is a good thing! It's typically crowded. We stopped in on a Saturday night and were able to snag a little 2 top adjacent to the bar. There's a great uptown vibe at BLB. I like it!

The qaulity of BLB is good. The pints are well poured and the food option are always a-plenty. I would like to see Bryant Lake Bowl supporting more craft breweries. I would say 35-40% of tap offerings are local which isn't bad but I think they could go oven further.

Service can be hit or miss. Our server on our last visit was a space case. It took him a long time to get to us. He was knowledgeable of the beer list and food and got our drinks promptly. It took a while until he returned to take our order. We got the mock duck rolls (excellent) to split. I don't recall what my fiance got for an entree but I had the crab cakes on special. I think it was 12 bucks and was the most fantastic roasted potatoes I've ever had topped with 2 excellently done crab cakes, slaw and some type of spicy remoulade or coulis. What a bargain for an excellent dish! We didn't see or server much during the rest of the visit. Other servers popped in on us and got us waters and more beers. Overall, not a great server but the others servers seeing us in need shows that this isn't how the whole place runs.

Overall value is quite good. The food is great and affordable and the beer isn't expensive either. Definitely check this out if you haven't.

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Photo of tempest
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped by with a friend after happy hour at the Herkimer, a block or so away. This is the sort of place you love to see in Uptown, a little dark, hip (but not intimidating), and full of personality. We sat at the bar with the bowling to our right and big windows to the left.

The bartenders were friendly and happily offered their take on the taps. My only qualm with the bar was that I thought my pint of Rogue was a touch steep at $6. The selection was small, but interesting enough to know these guys meant business.

A cool place to check out, I think next time I might try to stop by during happy hour because I'm cheap like that.

 642 characters

Photo of benjamincarter
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

One of the first craft bars that I visited, got to play some old school bowling with keeping score by hand. Had the Pad Thai that was very good and usually have great selection of beer and have been back for a few special releases.

 231 characters

Photo of millelacsmark
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Djsaturn1
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of MPLS
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere at the Bryant Lake Bowl (BLB) is typically lively, loud, and you can always hear the sound of bowling pins crashing down. This place is a staple for a lot of people in uptown and it can be a refreshing place to go to.

They craft beer selection is small, but hey they have craft beers on tap. I wouldn't say that they are extremely overpriced either. I noticed a few weeks ago an account for the BLB on BA pimping there stuff.

The food selection is good. I have primarily gone here for brunch on the weekends more so than in the evening hours. They have some good bloody that blasphemy on a beer site? As a conscious consumer I think it's great that they buy fresh, organic, and local ingredients.

The service like every damn place can change from time to time. Typically the servers are top notch, but the bartenders suffer from some kind of pretentiousness common to uptown.

 904 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Been here half a dozen times in the last 6 years, and really should come here more often, i guess the parking and location prevent me from going so much. BLB always has some good pours sometimes they have stellar pours the service always has been very nice , have had many samples offered and good conversation with the barkeeps. Love the retro interior and mural the lanes in the rear are white noise and nice to see, this is always a place i remember when i was looking for something better on tap and they are still doing this now.

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Photo of JoRado
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I love this place. I come here all the time for their beer selection and usually always find one or two things on their tap list that make me say, "Alright! I know what I'm getting!".

The food is good too, but I've never paid full price. I usually only order food when they have the happy hour specials. None the less nothing I haven't tried that I was disappointed with.

Great atmosphere too. They have a bowling alley if you want to bowl with some friends or just sit at some candlelit tables for some drinks and apps.

I have to say the waitstaff here isn't the greatest. The bartenders are great, but due to the waitstaff always seeming grumpy or mad for no reason, I've chosen to always just order from the bartender. I really don't understand why they are, and it isn't all the time, but definitely most of the time.

Overall I love this place and always grab a drink here when I can.

 894 characters

Photo of Chaz
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been visiting the Bryant Lake Bowl for many years, and for a short while I considered it to be my local. As far as atmosphere is concerned, the 'BLB' has it in spades, and herein lies a conundrum integral to its reson d 'etre. Sure it's a bowling alley from another era, complete with the sort of retro-chic charm that drives hipsters to distraction, but it's also a theater / performance space, bar ad cafe. Some might consider the mere concept of such a venue to be arty and pretentious, but it literally comes with the territory. Also, an establishment as ambitious as the BLB will inevitably (although no intentionally) spread its charm too thin, but while it sometimes fails, its collective strengths are far more appealing than the sum of its individual shortcomings. The place claims a fairly small footprint, whether in terms of a dining venue, bowling lane, or theater, and to that end it is rather heavily trafficked, inducing a good amount of distraction on the part of its waitstaff. Given the amount of distraction said staff face they do a great job and maintain a commendably cheerful disposition. And when it comes down to it, I've always felt that both the owner and the staff do an admirable job of walking that fine line between retro-hip and post-modern kitsch that such a place exudes. To this end all are welcome and made to feel equally welcome - this ain't just a hipster's hangout. The menu could best be described as unpretentious pub grub meets New American cuisine, and while some might read a degree of pretention into that last category, in this town, especially in the past decade or so, this has been par for the course. Food itself is above average-to-good, with prices as close to inexpensive as you can get without rejoicing in the cheapskate-glory that is a classic dive bar menu (e.g. 75 cent Old Style and $1.50 chili dogs. Beverage selection has always been a strong suit at the BLB, especially given the fact that the beer list has always maintained a degree of precedence over the wine list. This isn't to say that the wine list is a slouch as such, but with a more traditional wine bar to her credit, BLB's owner Kim Bartman seemed content to allow the 'beer bar' aspect of the BLB to blossom. Tap and bottled beers are listed on a blackboard on a wall straight ahead and to your right, just after entering. The bar itself -to your left upon entry- is not so much small as it is busy: this place has an active, thirsty clientele! In the past, I've noticed that the bar tends to posess some unheralded jewels amongst the beers available on hand, and knowing that I'd say you'd be doing yourself a favor in asking the bartender if there are any rare or otherwise unlisted items. In terms of selection, there are 20 taps to choose from, and these frequently feature seasonal craft offerings from Anchor, Bell's, and Victory, as well as locals like Summit and Surly. Belgian beers of every stripe turn up as well, and sell-through with increasing rapidity. Overall, the staff (and particularly longtime bartender Dan Hadley) are up on their beers, so should you feel any hesitation in trying something new, look no further for your recomendations. Definitely worth a visit whenever you have the opportunity, and also makes for a great 'local' watering hole!

 3,300 characters

Photo of Mistofminn
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped here for a friends 21st birthday a while back and a couple times since.

Atmosphere is great. Beer and bowling, doesn't get much better than that does it?

Quality is good too. Old school feel with friendly people and a great location. Walking distance from most other Uptown attractions.

Serive is good, but it can get rather busy on weekend nights. I've had to wait for a server and wait for lanes to open up on a couple occasions, but that just means that this place is doing well for itself.

The selection surprises me. I never expected to see Bell's, Minnesota locals and even some Belgians on the beer list.

Food is surprisingly good. We split some apps and my friend got a very tasty grilled cheese (with tomato and garlic) free for his birthday that we all shared. Prices are very reasonable.

A pretty cool place, but I wouldn't come here for just the beer, as bowling is and always will be the main attraction for me.

 940 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Bryant Lake Bowl combines a two of my favorite things, bowling and good beer. The lanes suck and the house balls are even worse, but the vibe of an old school bowling alley more than makes up for it. The beer selection is very solid. Mostly American micros with some rare beers usually thrown in, and some interesting imports including some nice Belgians ales. Service has been good every time I've stopped in. The staff doesn't seem to know everything about beer, but they know enough about what is on tap to answer most reasonable questions. Overall, BLB is a great place to waste away an afternoon.

 601 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Finally made it to BLB for the first time during their Bell's Oberon release party. The place is quite small for the bar and seating areas, but spacious enough. The cool thing is that they have several lanes for bowling. Really a cool beer bar atmosphere with pins being cracked in the background. Kind of a 50's look and feel to the place which I dug. Service was friendly and pretty solid even though it was pretty busy. Our server knew her beers quite well in fact. Awesome tap list, with a really nice variety and a nod to many local brews which is great. Nice happy hour special that didn't include every beer, but a few choices. The food was good. Bar food turned up a notch. I would go back again for sure. Maybe even bowl a bit next time.

I have to give this place $$$ for value because of a second visit there. We ordered the nachos and added on some chicken, guac and sour cream. We get the final bill and each of those add ons were $3 each! $20 for a plate of nachos?! Sorry, but chicken for $3, no problem, but a tiny little ketchup cup of sour cream for $3? Uh, I don't think so. The food was good though, just pricey.

 1,132 characters

Photo of MeLikeBeer
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Bryant Lake Bowl is the kinda place you want to bring friends to when they come from out of town. Located on Lake St, in the Lyn-Lake neighboorhood, it might as well be located in the 1950's. The building itself houses a theater, a bar/dining area and a bowling alley. We stopped in just after happy hour (I know...bummer) on a Friday for some food and had no trouble finding a place to sit.
Parking could be an issue...I live in the area, so walking is a great option- if you're looking for a ramp there is one available about 2 blocks West on Lake St.
We were greeted promptly and given our menus. BLB now offers many meals/dishes prepared with organically grown meat, and also vegetarian options...this in no way detracts from the flavor- the burger I ordered was juicy and fantastic!
On to the beers- the selection is amazing. They have around 20 taps, offering everything from Belgiums (Delirium Tremens) to locals (Surly Furious). They have some Rogue and Victory on tap, as well Bells, Anchor and many other notables, but the best part about it was the staff- everyone seemed to be knowledgable about the beers...asking my opinion of the Furious, offering suggestions to my table-mates, and overall- knowing their beer. A+ in that department. They also have a chalkboard with up-to-date listings of what's on available on tap and what style it is...very nice.
Prices were reasonable and they have a happy hour M-F with discounted taps. A must-stop in the uptown area!

 1,480 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This multiplex of fun has it all from live music, small one man plays, and of course bowling. Oh yeah some good beers to choose from as well. One of the best places to bowl and enjoy an actual Belgian beer. You just don't see that at any other bowling alleys, ever. At least not in my experience. Ya bowl, ya drink, ya eat, its great, stay late for some of the bands or small plays being put on.
I like going there to bowl and drink, some of the music bores me a little, I can only take so many garage bands who make there CD's from there Mac's, but every once in awhile you get some real kickin' - groovin' music. The food is pretty good as well.

Choices of beers run through a small assortment of micros such as the Bell's line with some being on tap, along with Summit, Anchor, and Anderson Valley. A small selection of stouts and porters, all varying from the UK, Germany, and the US. A few Mexican beers and some marcos and then the Belgians of just over a dozen lambics, dubbles, and whites to choose from. Wow. They beat out alot of small town liquor stores. Albiet the service their can really linger depending on how busy the place is, but they're always nice and quite interesting to talk with.
A pleasure to visit for something a little different from the ordinary bar/pub scene. Check out the website, it has all you need to know.

 1,348 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Kind of a hole in the wall place, right on Lake Street, so it's fairly easy to find. Visited on a Sunday night, a fairly small bar, not too much seating, but an awesome selection of beer. There is maybe 20 tables, with a bowling area in back. Quite a few taps that you won't see many other places in the metro area, including Rogue, Sierra Nevada, regionals, micros, several Belgians. I did not have time to try the food, but I glanced at a menu and it looked reasonable. A small, yet friendly looking place, I wish I could have spent more time here.

 550 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Hipster Heaven.

Or at least it was, about 5 years ago or so. Why? Because the place has character. Housed in a bowling alley (and bowling, by the way, has become cool again too), this place has a lot of charm. When you're at the bar, you will most likely have to sit at one of the little tables alongside the windows or sit at the bar. There is a lot of soft, dramatic lighting and wood paneling.

The service is great. Every time I've been here I've had a friendly server who was very accomodating.

The tap lines are pretty impressive (especially for a bowling alley). There are at least 20 different beers on tap, and most of the time, you can get at least one or two rarities. All of the time, they support local domestic microbreweries, and it's almost certain you will find Summit, James Page, Bell's, etc... in addition to some smaller breweries as well. There are also some Belgian style beers in bottles.

Although the selection is not that impressive, it is constantly rotating. Every couple of months, a couple new beers will rotate through.

Definitely give this place a shot. You'll be charmed by it.

 1,126 characters

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I suppose if you're looking for an upscale beer and dining experience, this place might not be for you. However, I just loved the low key, laid back, welcome to the neighborhood vibe at Bryant Lake Bowl, and I'm sure I'd be a regular if I happened to live within 10 miles of the place.

From the outside, BLB doesn't look like much, just another funky looking cafe in a diner setting. It's more of the same inside, with a small, informal dining area and 10 seat bar to your left upon entering. In the back there's an actual bowling alley, and I love looking at the happy hour chalk board, which had special pricing for food, beer and bowling lines/games. BLB has the look of a place that has seen a few things in its time, which IMHO only adds to the cool, laid back ambiance to the place. I spent over two hours at the bar, and the time just seem to slip away, while I sat there with my book and kicked back with a beer or four.

As for the beer selection, there was something like 23 or 24 beers on tap (one cider), and the selection was more than a bit impressive. The Surly 5 had just kicked, but otherwise they had the helles and furious from Surly, as well as the oracle, all souls, clutch and Odell's lupulin (among other things). The bartender confirmed that the tap selection turns over and rotates frequently (what a surprise with this line-up).

Service was very good, with my bartender friendly and attentive. He didn't try to BS me with his beer knowledge, noting that he didn't know all that much about the beer on tap (but would be happy to pour me a sampler of anything I was curious about). On the other hand, it was readily apparent that the manager here (Laura) knew quite a bit about the beer selection, and so the bartender could fall back on her for any questions a patron might have (not that I had very many).

Didn't try the food here, but I was more than a bit tempted (but unfortunately, had a number of dining obligations I had to deal with already). Next time for sure...

This is a GREAT place, and is absolutely on my list of places I need to visit whenever I'm back in town.

 2,109 characters

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jvf28
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Josholson666
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

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Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, MN
Place rating: 95.2% out of 100 with 42 ratings
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